Harlow Council: New “meet the leader” sessions launched for residents to ask questions

News / Sat 11th Nov 2023 at 07:10am

COUNCILLOR Dan Swords, the Leader of Harlow Council, is hosting a series of ‘Meet the Leader’ sessions where residents can meet him directly to ask questions about the work the council is doing or issues which are affecting them.

The new sessions are aimed at residents who are facing issues with the council which may be unresolved, or for residents who want to put their views directly to the Council Leader.

To attend a session, no booking is required, residents can just turn up, wait their turn and they will get a one-to-one session where they can ask their questions and raise concerns.

The sessions will take place on the following dates from 9.30am – 11.30am in the reception of Harlow Civic Centre (CM20 1WG):

Friday 17 November 2023
Friday 1 December 2023
Friday 15 December 2023

Councillor Dan Swords, Leader of Harlow Council, said:

“As part of our priority to improve council services, I want to give residents the opportunity to ask me directly face-to-face any questions about a council issue which is affecting them, or a matter related to the town. This is about being directly accountable to the residents I serve, improving access to decision-makers and getting feedback on how we can improve our services. Several ‘Meet the Leader’ sessions will be held this year and if successful they will continue in the new year.

“If you have any issue with the council, or want to share your views directly, this is an opportunity for you to do so with me. Please do take this opportunity to turn up, wait your turn and meet with me.”

Residents can also contact the leader on email at [email protected] or write to him at Civic Centre, The Water Gardens, Harlow, CM20 1WG.

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22 Comments for Harlow Council: New “meet the leader” sessions launched for residents to ask questions:

2023-11-11 07:40:33

How do you get your hair looking so good ?

2023-11-11 08:11:16

When most people are at work. Still might take a day off, for a chat

Dan Swords
2023-11-11 08:35:07

Further evening sessions will be booked for those who work during the day.

Kim Oconnor
2023-11-11 09:05:06

Will he turn up , who knows. 😂

James Leppard
2023-11-11 09:09:11

Why don't you turn up with your shopping list of comments & questions. You complain incessantly about councillors being 'distant'. Well, here is your chance. Will you turn up? Who knows?

Kim Oconnor
2023-11-11 09:13:11

And you never slate every party going do you Mr Leppard. Perhaps because you don't like the truth may be.

James Leppard
2023-11-11 09:26:33

Translates, does that mean you are not going to turn up?

Jill Rainer
2023-11-11 09:36:07

Doesn't matter how many meetings you plan Mr Dan Swords words & promises don't really cut it. What we need to see is some action taking place in this town & that means in every corner & areas. I really don't know how you can give all this talk & we see no responses. Take a good look further than your nose at the state of Harlow as a whole picture. The town is a dangerous place to be , it's like going out into Jurassic park with the uncared upkeep maintenance of bushes, trees, paths, cycle tracks etc it really does look a total mess. It's unsafe not only because you are fighting to get past these nasty prickly bushes & hedge's but you can't see over round or through. The bushes & hedges each side are actually growing towards one another. It's also dangerous night or day that you can't see ahead of around you for our own safety whether that be children adults & the elderly & to be honest I think your meetings will be monopolised with this subject. Rewinding is one thing but this is taking it much too far. Car are being broke into because they are hidden by the hedges houses also because the thugs are well hidden when things are being carried out. I really don't know what your ideas are but maybe you should start walking the walk instead of all this talk we get time after time with each & every new head of council!!!! Hope you have done your homework in the few years you have had the experience of being able to become head of Harlow Council . Seeing results of hundreds of complaints will tell in all aspects of Harlow Council.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-11-11 09:54:13

This is the best example yet of how Cllr Swords has mixed up his role as the leader of the Council and that of the Chief Officer. I understand he does not actually have a job and can spend long hours in the council offices, funded by his Members allowance and as a member of our MP's staff. What this council needs are all staff working face to face contact and the Head of the Service Mr Bramiidge taking such a lead. I am aware that if you approach a Councillor about an issue say in Bush Fair, but live in say Old Harlow, you will be told to approach your old Harlow Councillor, so I don't see how Cllr Swords can deal with issues about the whole town when he in the main will not have any idea of what has happened in the past. This is nothing really but a PR exercise, what the town needs are more boots on the ground to deal with all the issues which people are posting about on these pages.

Tony Wiseman
2023-11-11 10:24:20

I really do think that we should give Cllr Swords a chance to see how these meetings work out. Yes, the Chief Officer of the council should also have to attend so that they can gauge the strength of feeling about our town but this is a start and could become a positive move for change. I don't see the other parties offering a walk in chat service to listen to our comments and describe what they would do differently should they be elected. And before you ask, I am not a member of any political party.

Alderman Durcan
2023-11-11 11:16:53

The difference between the Tories and Labour is about different styles of communication. Tories you have to go to them. Labour come to you as we have teams out every Saturday and Sunday in different parts of the town,every weekend. You can’t dispute how hard working Chris Vince is by being very visible and more importantly approachable. Saying that I really hope as many people do take up the offer as leader of the Tories,needs to know about the real issues and challenges people face. If your living under plastic sheeting covering you damaged roof this is your opportunity He should set up his desk by the food bank if he really cared.

Kim Oconnor
2023-11-11 11:50:21

I'll wait till he turns up on first few ,,first.

Dan Swords
2023-11-11 17:06:09

Nicholas Taylor’s comment is both entirely untrue. He hasn’t any basis for his claim and it is totally incorrect. It also shows his total lack of understanding about how modern local government works and the role of the leader of the council. I have offered him a session education on this should he so wish. Let’s see if he takes it up. Alderman Durcan, I have carried out 14 community visits this week including to two sheltered housing schemes and two canvassing sessions. I just don’t post everything I do on Twitter but I do very much appreciate you encouraging residents to attend.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-11-11 17:41:10

So Dan, lets just check up on your reply to my post. 1 When have you ever offered me a "session education on this"? Fact is, I don't need one having worked in Local Government for 44 years. 2 Do you have a 9 to 5 job other than working for out MP and if so where? 3 How many of the Councils 450 staff are working at their desks and can members of the public call into the Civic Offices and speak face to face with staff actually responsible for providing a service? On visiting the office recently I noted that most of the public area was closed off. 4 Will Mr Bramidge or indeed any Director of Service attend the sessions so THEY can find out what the public are saying? 5 Are you saying that my final point is wrong, if so I can give an actual instance where my point is valid. Just to add another point, whatever happened to Members surgeries? All Councillors should be meeting the public within their Ward. As it is, most residents only see a Councillor when election time comes around.

2023-11-11 17:44:04

This is what makes me chuckle about politics. Over 80% of the comments on here are counsellors bashing each other, bashing for what? For the people or against the people? For the town or against the town? It's not clear where the tit for tat is for if it's not for the best of the town. Here is something radical, how about all the leaders for the parties come together and listen as a collective of the concerns and have an amicable discussion with the other leaders for the short term, for the long term, for the benefit of the town, not the party.. everybody wants Harlow to improve and be a thriving and vibrant place bloody work together. Is this too hard to ask to actually care about the people and not tallying up who has done what and where, how many times, and what the pr motive was. Jees, the piggy in the middle feels like us the people who are supposed to be represented by currently the children squabbling changing view and agenda every few years.

Dan Swords
2023-11-11 17:51:11

Nick, have a look at your emails and you may wish to rewrite your comments

Nicholas Taylor
2023-11-11 19:31:11

In response to Cllr Sword's latest post, I would advise readers that his email to HAP was received at 16.40 this afternoon, just one minute before my second post appeared on this email. I note and acknowledge that he does not work for the MP. I also note that he has not answered my questions 4, 5 and 6 or about Members Surgeries. As for your comment Chris, I am afraid that all to often politics gets in the way of common sense. The two main Parties are wedded to Westminster where they rarely agree to work together. Those of us in the Harlow Alliance Party are happy to give credit where credit is due whether it is Labour or Conservatives as demonstrated in the last week or so.

2023-11-11 22:28:47

James Leppard, would it not be possible that for one day, you were not so rude to the people. A little bit of respect does go far. I notice you belittle Councillor Vince on many occasions and continually repeat yourself in a manner which is close to bullying. This is not just with other councillors however with the people of Harlow. Instead of being passive aggressive maybe listen 👂 sometimes, it may get you somewhere. Thank you

James Leppard
2023-11-12 07:25:51

Tee, I apologise if I have upset you. However, in the case of Chris Vince recently, I find it completely disrespectful on his part to run away from two issues of some importance. Firstly, the issue of local elections where he deliberately treated a public consultation with contempt, proposed no arguments, completely acted contrary to his earlier position (published in YH) and then coerced 4 of his councillors to vote against a non-party motion they had expressed support for. Secondly, two members of the public wrote letters on YH challenging Mr Vince, quite reasonably, to state his position on the Gaza/Israel conflict. He has not replied to either of these issues. I feel as local politicians we will have disagreements and debates. That is essential in a democracy. However, evading questions by the public and ignoring legitimate concerns is not.

Kim Oconnor
2023-11-12 11:53:50

😂 😂 😂 And you allways listen to public options, and all ways answer people s questions don't you James.. I've never seen you avade a question. Or skip it completely.Oh never seen you change your mind either.... Don't make me laugh.

James Leppard
2023-11-12 15:42:01

Kim O'Connor, my comments were not addressed to you, but please provide concrete examples to substantiate your allegations. No rush. Take your time. We have a number of Remembrance events, so you can reply at your leisure. Enjoy your Remembrance Sunday.

Kim Oconnor
2023-11-13 09:09:01

I don't need to do that Mr Leppard, people can see for them self's..

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